A Veteran’s Day Hodgepodge…

Welcome to another edition of The Wednesday Hodgepodge, brought to us by our gracious hostess, Joyce, “From This Side Of The Pond”.  Here are today’s questions, along with my answers:

1. In two or three sentences tell us what Veteran’s Day means to you?

Veteran’s Day is a day that’s set aside, to honor all, service men and service women, who sort of put their personal lives on hold and, often put themselves in harm’s way, to serve and protect our country.  I’m proud to say I’m married to one such army veteran who will FINALLY have Veteran’s Day off for the first time, ever. I think, above everyone else, veterans should get Veteran’s Day off, don’t you?

2. What’s your favorite film with a patriotic theme woven into the storyline?

It’s gritty and, at times, painful to watch but I like the movie “Born on the Fourth of July”, starring Tom Cruise.  I’ve watched it several times.

3. Flu shot-yes or no? If you answered no, do you plan to get a flu shot? If not, why not? Have you ever had the flu?

Yes, I’ve gotten a flu shot, every year, since our youngest son, Brad, ended up in ICU, from the flu, back in 2011.  He was a very sick young man, and didn’t look well for several months, afterward. Strangely enough, I, too, caught the flu, for the first time, two months before Brad, and was very sick during the week leading up to Christmas.  It made a believer [in getting flu shots] out of me!  By the way, I’ve hardly had a ‘sniffle’ since I began taking a flu shot every year.

4. I’ve seen lots of people posting pictures of their Christmas trees up and decorated. Many stores have had Christmas on display since well before Halloween. Red cups are back at Starbucks, sans the holiday decor, and that has some people up in arms. What are your thoughts on all the holiday ruckus this second week of November?

First of all, I think any time before Halloween is too early to be thinking about Christmas.  I don’t want to see Christmas displays or hear Christmas music until at least the day after Halloween.  For me,  it’s still too early to decorate for Christmas, too.  Why can’t people just enjoy the month of November, for Thanksgiving, instead of rushing into Christmas?  As for the red cups at Starbucks, I don’t really have any thoughts one way or another because I don’t go to Starbucks.

5. What ‘critter’ are you most afraid of encountering unexpectedly? Why that one?

I’m most afraid of encountering a rattlesnake, unexpectedly, for obvious reasons.  We’ve  encountered several, over the years we’ve lived here, so I know they’re living nearby.  In fact, I’m 99% sure I heard one, shaking its rattlers the other day.  We have cats wandering all around, and he was probably warning one of them of his presence.  We watched our daughter’s chihuahua suffer a terrible death (even after getting a very expensive anti venom) due to an encounter with a rattlesnake, a few years ago, and that image is still stuck in my mind.

6. Do you like building things? What’s the last thing you ‘built’?

Yes, I love building things, or I should say I love watching other people build things.  Over the years, Ed has taken on many different building projects.  Ed’s last project was the building of a storage house/carport out back, several years ago. He was just about to begin closing in the carport area when he suffered his recent heart attack.

7. In keeping with this month’s theme of gratitude…what are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?

I’ve said this before, but after nearly losing him two weeks ago, I can’t say this enough–I’m VERY GRATEFUL for my husband, Ed!!!  He brings SO MUCH beauty to my daily life!  I know in my heart, my life would be very different without him.   I tell him that I love him every night, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart, and at the beginning of each new day, I’m delighted to still be able to kiss that smiling face of his!  Thank you, Lord.  I am very grateful!


Our grandson, Evan, celebrated his 2nd birthday with a party held at the Busy Little Beavers preschool building, on Saturday.  (The owner of the preschool rents out the building for parties, on the weekends.)  It was a great party, and everyone enjoyed themselves.


Evan and his parents, Brad and Jennifer, at the birthday party

Due to an outbreak of the stomach flu, Busy Little Beavers preschool had been closed the entire week before Evan’s party,  but we assumed the building had been disinfected and would be safe after a week of being empty.  Wrong!  On Monday night, Evan began throwing up, as well as Evan’s aunt, our daughter-in-law, Christina.  Now we’re all wondering…Who’s going to be next? 

Lesson learned:  Never assume anything!

Published in: on November 11, 2015 at 8:29 am  Comments (13)  
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Happy Hodgepodge…

After last week’s hiatus, The Hodgepodge is back!  I was a bit over-whelmed, last week, so I didn’t really mind the break, but I’m happy The Hodgepodge is back, this week!  Let’s jump right into Joyce’s questions, shall we?

1. We celebrate Veteran’s Day in the US of A on November 11th. When did you last interact with a member of the armed forces (either currently serving or retired)? Have you ever written a letter to a soldier, bought a meal or coffee for a solider, said an unprompted thank you to a soldier you encountered out and about somewhere? If you’re not in the US, comment on a similar holiday in your own country.

Ed in Okinawa 1970 thru 72 (or just before leaving)pt 230

Ed (cir. 1970) just before leaving for Okinawa

I interact with a former member of the armed forces every day of my life, because I’m married to one.  Ed served in the army from 1969-1972, and my brother is a Vietnam veteran, as well.

Since I’ve had loved ones who have served in the military, letters and ‘care packages’ have been a part of my life.  I still remember mailing home-made pecan pies to my brother, in Vietnam, and wondering how they would taste, once they arrived!  (He says they were good!) While Ed was in the army, he and I spent a small fortune, on postage, over the course of our three-year courtship, sending letters, tapes, and packages to each other!

Also, many years later, while I was working as a parapro, our first grade students once wrote letters, brought in items, and helped make care packages to send overseas.  The fathers of two of our students were deployed, so we sent the packages to them at Christmas, to be shared with fellow soldiers.  I thoroughly enjoyed participating in that worthwhile project, and I think the children did, too.

I’m planning to make a Christmas donation to ‘Operation Gratitude’, this year.  They’ll send cards, letters, and ‘care packages’ to our military.

2. You can have fifty pounds of anything at all (except money)…what would you choose?

Since I can’t choose money,  I’d choose fifty pounds of precious metal–preferably gold or silver!

3. When did you last receive an invitation in the ‘real’ mail? What was it for and did you attend? When it comes to RSVP-ing, are you an ‘early responder’ or a ‘last minute, barely-under-the-wire’ kind of guest?

It’s been quite a while (at least a year) since I received an invitation in the mail!  The last invitation I received, in the mail, was probably a shower invitation.  Regarding RSVPs,  I prefer to be an early responder.

4. What’s something you really don’t like to waste?

Since groceries have become so expensive, I can’t stand to waste food!  In the past, Ed and I never used to eat many ‘left overs’, but, as we’ve grown older, we’ve learned to like them!  No food is ever wasted at our house, if we don’t eat it, a dog, a cat, or a chicken will!

5. Cheers, Friends, MASH, Seinfeld…of the ones listed, your favorite long-running sitcom?

I’ve watched all of the sitcoms listed, but the one I like best is ‘Friends’.

6. What decision are you glad you made?

I’m glad I made the decision to marry Ed.  Forty-two years later, I wouldn’t change a thing!

7. In this month of ‘Thanksgiving’ what is one thing that’s different today than it was a year ago that you’re grateful for?

Our house!  For several years, we had an uncovered porch on the front of our house.  We had lots of trees all around it, so it didn’t really matter that it was uncovered–until we had our trees cut.  This spring, we had a roof built over our front porch, and I’m very grateful for the shade it provides, as well as the protection from rain. (Several of our cats are grateful, too.)


How can it be that every year thousands of non-veterans get Veteran’s Day off from work to celebrate, while thousands of actual veterans have to go to work, as usual?  In forty-two years, Ed has never gotten Veteran’s Day off from work!  This just seems so wrong to me.

Published in: on November 12, 2014 at 8:18 am  Comments (9)  
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This-n-That On Monday…

I always worry that nobody cares about what I’ve been doing, whenever I write this kind of ‘catch-up post’, but, the truth is, I write mostly for me, so I can record what’s been happening with my family.  As time goes by, I tend to forget much more than I can remember!  By Monday, I have to struggle to remember what happened on Friday, but here goes…

Our neck of the woods was filled with a whirl of activities the entire weekend!  Our little granddaughter, Madison, was one of the flower girls in her Aunt Sarah’s wedding.  This made Madison’s fourth time being a flower girl!  This is what happens when you’re the only little girl in both sides of the family 🙂

I didn’t attend the wedding, but I asked my daughter to take a picture for me.  Seeing how ‘grown’ Madison looks makes my heart a little bit sad.  All too soon, she’ll be the bride instead of the flower girl!


Ed and I had lots of visitors throughout the weekend, beginning on Friday night,  when our oldest son and his family came for a visit. They brought me a new addition for my portrait shelf, too.  I love it!  I love family portraits, and seeing this one brought back lots of memories…

Twenty-five years ago, this could have been Ed and me! Those were some fun times dressing up the little ones for church directory portraits–not!    I think my daughter-in-law, Christina, handles family portraits better than I did, though.  Before this portrait was taken, Brett and his family had spent the majority of the day, outside, at Madison’s 7th (carnival-themed) birthday party!  In fact, Christina, even arrived two hours before the party, to help Brandy decorate!  You’d never guess all that by looking at this family portrait, would you?  You’d never guess that they attended another fall festival after this portrait was taken, either, would you?!


On Saturday, Ed and I had more visitors, when  the newest member of our family came for his first visit to “Mimi” and “E’s” house!  It had been a week since we’d seen the little guy, and of course, he’d already grown some.

Baby Evan and his parents spent Saturday night and most of Sunday with us, while the rest of our family trickled in and out, to visit, whenever they could.  We didn’t take a lot of pictures, but one of the best ones that we took was this picture of our oldest grandchild, Madison,holding our youngest grandchild, Evan.  (Evan’s wrapped in Madison’s old baby blanket!)

100_3078 (2)

It was great to have Brad and Jennifer back in ‘Gooseneck’ again, since it had been a while since they’d been able to visit. Ed and I had been to their house for the past 3 weekends!

Evan spent most of the time in somebody’s arms, since people were always dying to hold him.  We may have him a bit spoiled, soon!  As always, the hours passed quickly, and all too soon, it was time for little Evan and his family to go home.  Sigh.  Evan was a bit fussy, as they were leaving.  Hope their trip home was okay!

On a happier note, everyone will be back, this coming weekend, to celebrate Ed’s birthday, which happens to be coming up, later this week!


Of course, it wouldn’t be Monday, unless I participated in the ‘Monday Quiz’, so I will.  Thanks to ActingBalanced for hosting this Monday meme!  Here are the questions, along with my answers:


1. It is Veteran’s Day in the US and Remembrance Day in Canada – are you participating in any special events or doing anything to honor those who served?

No, I won’t be participating in any special events, but I do honor those who served.  I have several veterans among the members of my family:  my brother, my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, my nephew, and of course, Ed.  I’m proud of each one of them, and I am thankful for the service they provided for our country.  I’m only sorry that Ed has never had Veteran’s Day off!  He never gets to enjoy a holiday that’s held in his honor.  Sigh.

2. How far are you willing to drive before it becomes better to fly?

I prefer to limit my car trips to six or eight hours, but I’ve never flown.  Can you tell I don’t travel far from home very much?

3. Fresh cranberries are back in stores – Wayne is happy because I’m making crisps again, do you cook/bake with fresh cranberries? Recipes?

Nope, I’m not a real fan of cranberries, although, I’ve eaten cranberry bread before, and liked it okay.

4. We turned on our heat for the first time this week here in SC… how long has the heat been on at your house? What temperature do you set your furnace at?

We’ve had our furnace on since about mid-October.  During the day it gets hot, but sometimes the nights tend to get a little cold.  Ed and I could’ve toughed the nights out, but we have a parakeet who’s very old, so I turned the heat on, at night,  for “Tweety Bird”.

We keep our thermostat set on 75 degrees, during the day, and 71 degrees, at night.

My question:

5.  What’s your favorite thing about cold weather?

Published in: on November 11, 2013 at 11:13 am  Comments (7)  
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My Thoughts About Veteran’s Day

Today is Veteran’s Day.  Flags will be flying.  Parades and special ceremonies will be taking place all over the country.  Stores are boasting “Veteran’s Day Sales” and discounts.  Scores of people will have the day off from work with pay  (who have never served a day of duty in their lives).

I’m very proud of our country’s veterans, and I agree that we should have a day set aside to honor them, but…

Today will mark the 39th Veteran’s Day that I’ve spent married to my husband, Ed, a veteran.  Ed completed his active army duty status in June of 1972.  Never once in all of those 39th years has Ed had Veteran’s Day off.  Something is very wrong with this picture–and Ed isn’t alone.  I’m pretty sure my brother and my mother-in-law, both veterans, never had the day off from their jobs either.

Let’s face it, most places of employment don’t observe Veteran’s Day as a paid holiday.  In my opinion, every veteran should be required to receive Veteran’s Day as a paid holiday!  I think it’s the least we can do for them since the purpose of the day is to honor them!

Happy Veteran’s Day to all of the brave men and women who have faithfully served our country!  Enjoy the special day set aside to honor you–even if most of you have will still have to work!  Perhaps one of these days someone will figure out something is wrong with this picture…

Published in: on November 11, 2011 at 9:28 am  Comments (3)